I’m in a department that is going through change. Similar to every other department I’ve ever worked with or for (even as an Undergrad!) – we are going through some change. The specifics of our change don’t matter for this post.
This post is all about how you, as a professional, deal with the change.
I wrote a post a while back about Feeling Frustrated. I also wrote about Being Solution Focused.
When I think about these two posts, it really helps me dial in to what I believe is a great way to deal with change.
To start with, I think there are multiple types of change.
First, systemic change. This is a new state law, or the Chancellor/President of the institution has made a new decision/policy.
The fact of the matter is that you will have no control over this change. My role is to figure out what needs to be done, figure out how to share the message with those below me, and move forward.
I think this is one of those places where people turn negative quickly. (see the feeling frustrated post again) For me, it’s all about figuring out how to move forward. I do spend a little bit talking with co-workers to figure out what is going on and venting- but a lot of my energy is spent on remaining positive and figuring out what is next for me. I have worked hard in my current role to gravitate towards other professionals who are positive about situations. Truthfully am I frustrated!? Sure! But, if I spend my time focusing on the positive, I’ll be happier in the end.
Next up would be change from right above me. Maybe the departmental director wants to change something, or my supervisor wants a process changed, or perhaps we have a new staffing pattern. All of these changes are something that can really give me (or anyone else) a huge headache!
Again, for me it is all about figuring out what I can control in the situation. Sometimes, those above me ask for my input. Sometimes I’m just a drone in the machine making things happen. Either way, I keep my positive stance and figure out what is the right way for me to move forward.
Change below happens all the time. This is when one of my staff does something that changes their employment status. This could also be when a resident does something that really changes how my day is going. I think with stuff like this, it is important for me to look at the bigger picture. What is me getting all upset going to do to/with/for this situation. I might still get frustrated, but taking that moment to pause and think through the whole situation and what outcome I need to happen- before moving forward- really helps me.
Now, I don’t want to pretend like I’m all daisies and roses every day. Those who know me will know this for sure! I do get frustrated with the best of them! However, I’ve really taken time to think through why I have the position I have. Why am I doing this job. What are the things out there that would make me want to quit my job or search for a new position. There is a list (proverbially).
I co-presented a webinar on this basic topic in spring of 2013. We are called it “What if I don’t like my _____?” The whole presentation is about really taking a look at your situation and deciding what you can and cannot live with. If you are interested in viewing the webinar, feel free to click here. The webinar was sponsored/presented by the Professional Foundations committee of GLACUHO.
I’d love to hear others’ thoughts about how you stay positive when change happens that you are not ok with. Hope you enjoyed the webinar!